Sri Lanka averts slamming door on Test cricket? | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka averts slamming door on Test cricket?

File photo of Sri Lanka cricketers Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath and  Dimuth Karunaratne celebrating an occasion against Bangladesh the last time the two countries played a Test series
File photo of Sri Lanka cricketers Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath and Dimuth Karunaratne celebrating an occasion against Bangladesh the last time the two countries played a Test series

Sri Lanka may have come close to bundling Test cricket into the back seat with confusion still holding centre stage ever since England’s players evacuated ahead of the coronavirus pandemic and the country yet to attract a foreign team with tours by South Africa, India and Bangladesh postponed and a showpiece T20 tournament called the LPL put on hold.

If not for the pandemic, Bangladesh should have toured Sri Lanka last month and played a three-Test series as part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test championship.

But with Sri Lanka having the lowest coronavirus cases from all the cricket playing countries and still no cricket played and the flow of funds impeded, the prospects of scaling down the Test series against Bangladesh to just two matches in order to accommodate three T20 Internationals had entered the scene.

But sanity prevailed and any desire to curtail the Test series against Bangladesh was averted.

“It was only an internal discussion (to knock down a Test match) and the Cricket Committee decided the three Test series will not be reduced”, said Sri Lanka Cricket Chief Executive Ashley de Silva.

De Silva said that playing a three-match T20 series with Bangladesh after the Test matches was only an option after a dispute with health authorities over a quarantine period for overseas players forced them to put back the LPL to December leaving room for a bilateral series.

The Bangladesh team for the three-Test series is expected to arrive in October and move into a two-week quarantine period.

Sri Lanka will have to decide on playing the three Test matches in Pallekele and Colombo avoiding Galle as a venue to overcome any travel-related coronavirus concerns according to De Silva.

Sri Lanka is currently placed fifth in the ICC Test rankings and Bangladesh ninth.

But with intellectual five-day matches facing challenges from T20 blockbusters the temptations often run high for more of the commercial variety despite the ICC emphasizing that Test cricket is its flagship pride and brand.

Nothing could have been more spectacular or appropriate than to see cricket get back on its feet through the pandemic with a traditional Test series between England and the West Indies last month.

The series was followed by three more Test matches currently being played between England and Pakistan.

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